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What's got my attention this week #24
Things to read, watch and listen to this weekend
Each Friday I produce a round-up of links, books, programmes and podcasts. Basically things I’ve spotted that I think The Shift subscribers might like. As so many of you are new here, I thought I’d make this one free so you can see what it’s all about. If you enjoy it, why not consider becoming a paid subscriber to make sure you never miss out.
• There have been so many thought-provoking pieces following the death of Matthew Perry last weekend, here are a few that resonated: Matthew Perry and the loneliness of addiction from the NYT; Poorna Bell’s piece on not letting addiction define a person; Oh no! Not Chandler Bing by Abby Gardner and Helen Lewis on Matthew Perry, the best friend we never knew.
• When women and children suffer for men’s wars.
• Loved this interview with Nina Stibbe and her mid-life landlady Deborah Moggach.
• How consumerist self-care has taken over the world.
• And on that note, capitalism wants to get its claws into the menopause.
• Following up from last week’s piece about Maggie Smith’s Loewe campaign, a writer asks, ‘where are all the older black women in these campaigns?’
• Everything from our sleep to our hormones relies on the dark, so why are we trying to drive it away?
• The transportive intimacy of reading on long journeys.
• Talking to yourself can be good.
• Meg Ryan wants romcoms to address ageing and regret.
• How roast duck soup bonds a daughter and her father.
• Wrinkles, and why they terrify millenials. Apparently. £
• The theory that men evolved to hunt and women to gather is wrong.
• Love this piece about being awake before the world wakes up.
• Meet the radical pensioners of Just Stop Oil. £
• Does melancholy breed creativity?
• Is every single weird symptom perimenopause?
• When one partner trains to run the marathon… who does everything else?!
• The wrong coat theory is right up my fashion street.
• 5 pieces of advice you should probably not take.
(A note about the links: some are behind a paywall, but almost all (eg The New York Times, New Yorker, The Cut, and many, but not all, Substacks…) can be accessed free by registering. Those that can't are marked £.)
I’m about to embark on my annual rereading of Katherine May’s Wintering. As you’ll know if you were a member of The Shift before we relocated to Substack, this wonderful book changed the way I feel about the long, dark months. It’s one of those books that once you own a copy you’ll find yourself returning to again and again, and buying repeatedly to force on friends. Subtitled The Power Of Rest And Retreat In Difficult Times, it's both an homage to the changing of the seasons and the onset of the darkest part of the year, but also a lyrical and comforting look at the emotional winters we all encounter at some time in our lives and how to learn from them. I’m not sure when reading it as the nights started to draw in became part of my autumn ritual, but here we are. (If you’re new to The Shift and missed our Bookclub Live chat with Katherine this time last year, you can catch up with it here.)
• Do you have any seasonal rituals? I’d love to hear them.
The Killers of the Flower Moon
I feel like I’ve been waiting for this movie ever since I read the book it’s based on. (The Killers of the Flower Moon: Oil, Money, Murder and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann has everything: mystery, corruption, venality and a fascinating historical setting.) Set in 1920s Oklahoma, it follows the story of the Osage Nation who, after oil was discovered on their land, found themselves some of the richest people in the world. They also, one by one, began to be killed off, with Molly Burkhart’s family (who owned oil headrights) becoming a particular target. The case became one of the FBI’s first major homicide investigations. And it didn’t exactly cover them with glory… Written and directed by Martin Scorsese, and starring Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone (both above) amongst a pretty stellar ensemble cast, it’s an epic (in all the senses) story of racism, corruption and an incompetence that you can be pretty sure would never have been allowed to happen had the victims been white. It’s got Oscar written all over it.
• In cinemas nationwide now and coming to apple TV+ soon.
• This week I’ve been glued to the fantastic podcast, Witch. Researched and presented by India Rakusen, it’s a timely look at what it means to identify as a witch now and the way in which women have been condemned as witches throughout history. The Shift podcast alumni Dr Sharon Blackie is fascinating on reclaiming the word hag in episode eight. And now I’ve learnt the origin of the word gossip I’ll be using it at every opportunity. Hard recommend.
AND ON THE SHIFT PODCAST THIS WEEK…
…I spoke to actress Tracy-Ann Oberman about the tough, no-nonsense Jewish matriarchs she’s descended from, and how they’ve influenced her life, career and her current “role of a lifetime”, as the first actress to play Shylock in The Merchant of Venice 1936, relocated to the streets of East London in the 1930s. Tracy-Ann also talked about refusing to be put in a box, standing up to anti-semitism, making your own opportunities as you get older and why we should never under-estimate the importance of “putting your face on”.
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